First I Look at the Purse
|"First I Look at the Purse"|
|Single by The Contours|
|B-side||"Searching For A Girl"|
|Recorded||Hitsville USA (Studio A); 1965|
|The Contours singles chronology|
"First I Look At the Purse" (G7044) is a 1965 song recorded by R&B group The Contours on Motown Records' Gordy label. It was written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rogers, the authors of the Temptations' very first hit single, "The Way You Do the Things You Do". This song reached #57 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the Top 20 on Billboard's R&B chart, peaking at #12.
The song received some added attention when it was covered by The J. Geils Band on their self-titled debut album in 1970. The song has also been covered by David Bromberg, Rod Stewart, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, The Cortinas and Nashville Pussy.
"First I Look at the Purse" was the last Contours hit featuring original lead Billy Gordon. It also features the renewed line-up of Contours, as several original members had left back in 1964. Shortly after its release, Gordon departed the group, and Motown, for good, due to personal problems. He was replaced with Joe Stubbs, brother of lead singer of fellow Motown group The Four Tops, Levi Stubbs.
In the early 2000s, the Contours performed the song on the PBS special Motown: The Early Years. They still sing it in their live shows today. It has also appeared in several Contours' Motown "Greatest Hits" CD compilations.
- Lead vocal by Billy Gordon
- Backing vocals by Sylvester Potts, Council Gay, and Jerry Green
- Spoken intro by Bobby Rogers (of The Miracles)
- Guitar by Huey Davis
- Other instrumentation by The Funk Brothers